AstraZeneca latest drugmaker to freeze 2018 price hikes

AstraZeneca will not raise the price of its medications in 2018, joining the ranks of numerous drug companies changing their pricing strategies after scrutiny from President Donald Trump, reports Reuters. 

AstraZeneca's CEO Pascal Soriot announced the pricing freeze July 26.

"There is a clear commitment in the company to not increase prices in the second half of the year," he told reporters, according to Reuters.

The move comes less than three weeks after President Trump tweeted drugmakers should be "ashamed" about raising prices. After the tweet, Pfizer, the largest drugmaker in the U.S., said it would delay its price hikes until the end of the year or until the president's drug-pricing plan goes into effect. About a week later, Novartis made a similar commitment to freeze price hikes in the U.S. for the rest of the year.

Last week, Merck became the first drugmaker to voluntarily lower the costs of several medications.

Note: Alia Paavola contributed to this report.

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